Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Title: Strawberry Anthracnose: Cultural Control Options Author
Submitted to: North American Strawberry Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2009
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Citation: Smith, B.J. 2009. Strawberry Anthracnose: Cultural Control Options. North American Strawberry Conference Proceedings pgs. 160-173. Technical Abstract: Colletotrichum species incite serious diseases of many fruit and vegetable crops worldwide, and three species, C. acutatum, C. fragariae, and C. gloeosporioides, are major pathogens of strawberry. Strawberry anthracnose crown rot has been a destructive disease in strawberry nurseries and fruit production fields in the southeastern United States since the 1930’s. The causal fungus, C. fragariae, may infect all aboveground plant parts; however the disease is most severe when the fungus infects the plant crown causing crown rot, wilt, and death. The presence of the anthracnose fruit rot pathogen, C. acutatum, was first reported on strawberry in the U.S. in 1986. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides was responsible for an epidemic of anthracnose crown rot in strawberry nurseries in Arkansas and North Carolina in the late 1970’s. The increase in losses due to anthracnose fruit and crown rots in the U.S. since the 1980’s may be related to the shift from matted row culture to the annual plasticulture production system, as well as a change in cultivars being grown. Survival of the Colletotrichum sp. pathogens in the field is dependent on soil temperature and moisture and decreases as temperatures and moisture increases. Strawberries grown in soils with high nitrogen levels are more susceptible to anthracnose than those grown in soils with lower nitrogen levels or those amended with calcium nitrate to raise the nitrogen level. Anthracnose is spread more rapidly in fields using overhead irrigation and plastic mulch than in field where drip irrigation and straw mulch are used. Pathogen resistance to some fungicides has been detected. Anthracnose resistant cultivars are being developed.